I have a confession.
I am a stalker.
I do not have a stalker. I AM a stalker.
To Glennon Doyle Melton aka Momastery.
I’ve never met someone who can be so vulnerable, so beautiful, so freeing, and so loving all at the same time. The woman is truly my favorite writer/speaker/person ever. Look her up now and begin your obsession.
I’ve had the insane honor of meeting her twice and getting to hear her speak both times. On life, pain, love, and everything in between.
It seems like our paths always cross when I’m in some deep spiritual turmoil and I don’t think that’s an accident. Not because I need her guidance to go through the turmoil but I need her reminder to TALK about the turmoil.
Without her freeing words, I would probably still be a shell of a human. Too scared to talk about where I fail because I felt like no one was allowed to fail.
She talked in Chicago a couple months ago about valleys and mountains. About how everyone wants to be on the mountain top but that’s not where life really is.
I’m going to expand on this beautiful truth but I just want to be sure that Glennon gets all credit for this thought process.
The peak of the mountain seems so desiring. After hours of work, and oxygen masks, and freeze dried food (I know NOTHING about climbing a mountain, do you eat freeze dried food? I made that up), the peak is where everything comes to a finale. You can see EVERYTHING from the top. You have conquered something that was previously unconquerable, to you at least.
But the peak is cold. The peak is lonely. And you cannot be on the peak forever. The oxygen will run out, there is no food up there, and it’s really freaking cold.
The valleys are the places that we loathe, right? The bottom of the mountain where we can’t see anything and where we are just so low.
But don’t knock the valleys – that’s where life happens. The valleys run right by the river, where the grass is green and the water is sweet. You can survive in the valley just fine. You don’t need an oxygen tank and odds are, a lot more people will be down there with you.
I’ve been in a valley for a while. For most of the time, I’ve really hated it.
I’ve cried A WHOLE LOT. It’s been a really foggy valley too. Nothing has really made sense and I couldn’t see the end in sight. I couldn’t explain why I was feeling the way I was, I didn’t have answers for anyone (including myself), and it was all just frustrating.
Life was so foggy that I missed all the parts of the valley that are beautiful. I couldn’t see the river, I couldn’t see the grass, I couldn’t see anything. Life was anything but lively. The fog took over.
I gave in. I decided that if the fog was where I was going to walk that I must be alone and that if I was alone, I could figure out the best life for me.
Well if you’ve ever chosen to do life alone, you probably know where this is going.
Heartbreak. Shame. Isolation.
All of it.
All because the fog blinded my eyes from seeing the river.
I was never alone. Jesus was right there with me the whole time. But I chose to decide that he wasn’t. I chose to want a substitute for the river. For that living water that I needed so badly.
The beautiful thing about that river though is that even though you can’t see it, it’s always there. Water doesn’t stop flowing just because we choose not to acknowledge it’s presence. Eventually the rush of the current will be too loud to ignore.
The love of our Savior does not go quietly.
His heart for us is just simply too strong.
A lot of people hear Jesus’ audible voice. That’s not me. So if that’s not you either, I want you to know you’ve got a comrade in that. But I do hear his voice through people. People like Glennon for sure. But especially through my tribe.
Man, my tribe has been stellar during my foggy season. I have never been loved so well in my entire life. I have never seen Jesus more vividly than through the way that these people have held my heart in theirs.
That kind of love reminds you of the river. They are the streams that lead back to the source. I heard them call me home.
So I found my way back. The future is a little messier now but that’s to be expected. Life is messy, that’s not a surprise to anyone. My little journey off on my own made my life a tad messier but loads more beautiful.
My messy is also my beautiful. They are one in the same.
So that’s why I’m a valley girl. Even if it means being a foggy, messy, one. I know where I’m at now. And while I don’t know much else, I know I’m by the river and that’s good enough for me.
If you’ve found yourself in a valley, welcome to the club – we are so happy to have you. Someone will get you a pamphlet on the activities down here. Just promise me that you’ll stay close the river, if you’re not sure of much else – be sure of that. Don’t be ashamed of being down here and don’t envy those on the peak. We are all here and we are all welcome.
This place by the way is called love. Love is a party and everyone’s invited.
Glad you could make it.
More thanks than I could ever voice to Glennon Melton for welcoming me into her life through her words. I’m seriously considering moving to Naples so we can be best friends. But for real, her words through this tough time have been my healing. She has shown me Jesus through her vulnerability. I don’t know if she’ll ever see this but sister if you do, thank you. Thank you for everything you choose to give to the world. You have created a space for all of us to be free, in our mess, in our joy, in all of it. Thank you for making life a little lighter by loving a lot bigger.